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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for April, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Repurpose Baskets For Crudités

Do you have a nice basket just hanging around—a legacy from a gift basket or flower arrangement?

Repurpose that basket into a crudité server: Fill it with your favorite sliced raw vegetables and whole veggies—baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and radishes, for example—along with the dip.

Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week, suggests three creamy dips:

  • Quark and Fresh Tarragon Dip with Champagne vinegar and Dijon mustard
  • Mascarpone and Ancho Chili Dip with cilantro, lime juice and molasses
  • Fromage Blanc Greek Dip with cucumber, dill and garlic
  • Get the recipes.

    One dip in the basket is fine and leaves more room for veggies. But it’s always nice to offer veggie-lovers a choice of two. Make one low-calorie, based on nonfat yogurt.

     

    crudites-vbc

    Turn a pretty basket into a crudité-and-dip
    holder. Photo courtesy Vermont Butter &
    Cheese Creamery.

    Comments

    CONTEST: Vote For The New Dunkin Donuts Flavor

    dunkin-donuts-230

    Three of the 12 flavor finalists. Vote early,
    vote often.

     

    Time to judge the donuts!

    Dunkin’ Donuts has announced the 12 finalists in the second annual “Create Dunkin’s Next Donut” contest from among 90,000 entries. The winner will receive a $12,000 grand prize and have his or her donut creation sold in participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide.

    You can vote for your favorite flavor online through May 3rd at DunkinDonuts.com.

    O.K.—our entry did not make the finals, but when we see how creative these entrants are, there are no sour grapes. So pick your favorite and vote:

  • “Cop Cake,” a cake donut with chocolate icing, topped with white sprinkles and chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Chris Schinnerer, Clackamas, OR)
  • “Full Moon,” a cheesecake kreme-filled donut with white icing, topped with shredded coconut and Hershey’s Vanilla shavings (Pat Cooper, Ponte Verde Beach, FL)
  • “I Like You a Latte,” a chocolate cake donut with maple icing, topped with white and chocolate sprinkles (Rosemary Burian, Joliet, IL)
  • “Let Freedom ‘Ring’,” a blueberry cake donut with white icing, topped with red and blue sprinkles (Jack Turchetta, Cranston, RI)
  • “Mango Fandango,” a berry mango-filled glazed donut, topped with pink and orange sprinkles (Rachel Llanes, Miami, FL)
  • “Monkey-See Monkey-Donut,” a bananas foster-filled donut with chocolate icing, topped with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup shavings (Rachel Davis, Sharon, MA)
  • “Mornin’ Paper,” a chocolate butter kreme-filled donut with white icing, topped with chocolate sprinkles (Catherine Kunkle, Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Learn the history of the donut in our Pastry Glossary.

  • “Much A Do About Nut Things,” a chocolate cake donut with peanut butter icing, topped with shredded coconut and chopped roasted almonds (Stefanie Schwalb, New York, NY)
  • “Nut N’ Fancy,” a peanut butter-filled donut with chocolate icing, topped with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup shavings and whole Reese’s Pieces candies (Lisa Burns, Medford, NJ)
  • “Pumpkin to Pie-n For,” a pumpkin cake donut with maple icing, topped with Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips shavings and graham cracker crunch (Kelly Rice, Orlando, FL)
  • “S’morgasbord,” a marshmallow-filled donut with chocolate icing, topped with graham cracker crunch (Chris Wiley, Medford, MA)
  • “Snack-o-Lantern,” a pumpkin cake donut with maple icing, topped with Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips shavings (Jennifer Hayes, Hardwick, MA)
  • You can see the current leaders when you vote. So get that vote in!

    Check out the history of the donut in our Pastry Glossary.

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Body Glove Water Bottle

    For Earth Day, re-examine your water bottle habits. Each year, more than 2 million tons of water bottles end up in landfills. Plastic waste in water and coastal areas kills 100,000 marine animals, 1 million sea birds and countless fish annually.

    1. Do you buy a new bottle of water every time you’re thirsty? Uh oh—lots of landfill. For some consciousness-raising, read this article from Fast Company.

    2. Do you refill the bottle a few times before you buy a new bottle of water? Better, but still landfill.

    3. Do you have a reusable, BPA-free water bottle that you use instead of purchasing water? And better yet, does your water bottle have an internal filter that turns tap water into top water?

    If not, let us introduce you to the Body Glove.

     

    body-glove-duo-filter-bottles-230

    Get one for yourself and one for a friend.
    Photo courtesy Body Glove.

    The BPA-free reusable water bottle has a built-in filter that’s good for 300 uses (and replacement filters are available after that, so one bottle can serve you for years). That’s 300 plastic water bottles eliminated from landfills! Don’t you feel good already?

    The “glove” part of the body glove is comfortable, stretch fabric that makes holding the bottle feel good, too.

    Tested by the EPA, the Body Glove portable filter bottle by Water, Inc. meets or exceeds protocols. The patented Ionic-Adsorption Micro-Filtration System reduces up to 99.99% of the following zones of contamination: aesthetics (unpleasant taste, odor, etc.), harmful pathogens, chemicals and dissolved solids (heavy metals including lead and mercury).

    Get your Body Glove(s) at BodyGlove.WaterInc.com.

  • Learn more about the different types of water in our Water Glossary.
  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Switch To Sorbet For Earth Day

    Wine-Cellar-Sorbets-230

    We’re just as happy with sorbet. Photo
    courtesy Wine Cellar Sorbets, a NIBBLE Top
    Pick Of The Week
    .

     

    Want to help the planet…and your waistline?

    If your family loves ice cream and consumes a reasonable amount of it, switch to sorbet.

    Sorbet has no milk or cream, which means it’s dairy-free. Why is that important for Earth Day (and every day)? Cows and other livestock create more greenhouse gas than all motor vehicles and trains combined.*

    Dairy-free means sorbet is also cholesterol-free. It’s also fat-free, and has fewer calories than ice cream.

    And, the pretty colors look like jewels served in a martini glass or wine goblet (with an optional sprinkling of berries). If a local shop sells handmade ice cream, you may find special sorbet flavors bursting with vitamin-rich, seasonal fresh fruit.

  • Find our favorite sorbets plus recipes in our Ice Cream & Sorbet section.
  • *The details: Manure contains methane, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and has created global warming. Every animal dropping emits methane into the atmosphere. The less meat and dairy products we eat, and the fewer animals raised to provide them, the less greenhouse gas.

    Comments

    PRODUCT: JAWS Surface Cleaner

    Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. You can do your part to help preserve the Earth whenever you clean, with JAWS surface cleaners.

    JAWS—Just Add Water System—cleans off tough stains and leaves surfaces streak-free. Regardless of the type of home surface you need to clean, JAWS has a solution for you.

    I already have perfectly fine cleaning products, you say.

    The difference is that JAWS is Earth-friendly. Instead of adding to landfill by throwing away the plastic bottle (and perhaps the spray unit, if you don’t buy the refill size), with JAWS you need only one bottle per year—or longer.

    That’s because each starter kit comes with a ready-to-use 32-fluid-ounce bottle of cleaner plus two refills of concentrate. When you’ve used up the bottle contents, just refill it with water and a refill and you’re good to go. You can buy the refills separately.

    In sum:

     

    jaws-cleaner-230

    Turn Earth Day into Earth Year: Go green
    with your cleaning products. Photo by
    Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

    1. Be green and thrifty. For those of you keeping score, that means you’ll get three full bottles of cleaner with one purchase and carry-home.

    2. Save fuel on “shipping water.” Cleaning products are mostly water. Water is not only heavy to transport, but there’s no reason for retailers to have it shipped from one end of the country to the other, when the water in your tap creates the same product. JAWS enables just one semi truck to take to the road instead of 30 semi trucks! Think of how much fuel, emissions and road wear that’s saved.

    Find a retailer at JawsInternational.com.

    Comments (1)

    VIEWPOINT: Change Your Diet For Earth Day

    rib-chops-230

    Save yourself and save the planet:
    Be sure meat comprises no more than 1/3
    of your dish, with 2/3 vegetables. Photo
    courtesy National Pork Board.

     

    Thursday is Earth Day, and experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) say one way you can help the planet is by taking a good look at what’s on your plate. If you didn’t get around to healthier eating as a New year’s resolution, now’s a good time to start.

    You can choose healthier foods and simultaneously make a difference in preserving some of the earth’s natural resources.

  • By eating more veggies and downsizing meat portions, you’re helping to conserve topsoil and save millions of gallons of water. According to the American Dietetic Association, a 3-ounce beef burger may require about 26 times more water than if you choose a similarly sized veggie burger.
  • Beef requires a lot of energy—for feed, manure management, transportation, slaughter and processing—before it gets to your market. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates if all Americans ate one less serving of beef weekly, we’d lower greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount as if we took about 5 million cars off our roads.
  • And don’t think chicken is the solution: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that all livestock generate more greenhouse gas emissions than all the planes, trains and automobiles on the planet!
  • You don’t need to eliminate meat from your diet; but the experts point to convincing evidence that diets high in meat increase risk for colon cancer. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans should be the focus of most meals, with meat taking up a supporting role—a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio.

    Tips For Health & Earth Day

    1. Adopt The New Ratio. It’s easy to follow the “2/3 plants to 1/3 meat” plan. For example, mix a small scoop of brown rice with plenty of colorful vegetables to fill most of your plate, accompanied by 3 ounces of roasted chicken.

    2. Size Does Matter. In your 2/3:1/3 plan, keep your portions modest. Recommended sizes: a rounded handful for a serving of pasta or dried beans; a baseball-sized serving for fresh fruit; a meat serving about the size of a deck of cards. Still hungry? Eat a large salad with oil and vinegar.

    3. Vegetarian Day. Have a “vegetarian day” once or twice a week. Go dairy-free if you can: A dairy cow contributes as much manure/greenhouse gas as a beef steer.

    Download New American Plate brochures and recipes from the AICR to help you save the earth as you improve your health.

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Caviar For Kids Gift Set

    It’s Earth Week, so how about some caviar to teach your kids about sustainability?

    Only in America—or perhaps wherever there are people with too much cash on their hands—would someone market a “Caviar Kid” kit. It seems so Hollywood.

    The kit is sold by Calilfornia Caviar, “Purveyors of Indulgence,” in San Francisco. According to the manufacturer, it’s:

    “A perfect way to make eating caviar fun for kids…spoon some crème fraïche into the puff pastry fish bowl and top with trout caviar for a fun, delicious and nutritious snack.”

    The brightly colored box includes trout caviar, a kid’s caviar spoon and napkin packed in a 100% recycled box that includes games and fun facts to teach your caviar kid about ocean conservation and sustainable seafood.

     

    caviar-kid-230

    Will your kid eat caviar? Here’s one way
    to find out. Photo courtesy CaliforniaCaviar.com.

    Another option, “Fish and Chips,” declares:

    “Sustainable seafood and ocean conservation at its best, this snack pack has sustainably raised Hackleback Sturgeon caviar, organic crème fraiche and Whale Tails organic corn chips, which donates 10% of proceeds to conserving Blue Whale breeding grounds.”

    Gosh, how about a can of sustainable tuna—pole-and-troll caught, no FADs (Fish Aggregation Devices)—for the kids, and send the caviar to us?

  • THE NIBBLE has lots of ideas for caviar lovers. Take a look at our Caviar Section, with recipes, Q&A and entertaining tips, plus our Caviar Glossary to help you roe, roe, roe your caviar boat.
  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pairing Wine With Indian Food

    350241_8674MichalSzydlowski

    Try a Pinot Noir with Lamb Vindaloo. Photo
    by Michal Szydlowski | SXC.

     

    Vishal Khosla, owner of Klay Oven in Chicago, has had a lot of time to experiment with wine parings at his Indian restaurant. His tips for what pairs best:

  • A dirty martini goes well with appetizers like vegetable samosas or chicken and lamb kabobs with onions and green peppers.
  • With Lamb Vindaloo, try a Pinot Noir; it offers a subtly sweet contrast to the spices in the dish.
  • Chicken Masala pairs best with Sauvignon Blanc; the wine provides a contrast to the spices in the dish.
  • Try a bold Cabernet Sauvignon to add some intensity to chickpea and lentil dishes.
  • Hot curries need a wine with a bit of residual sugar. Try Riesling or Gewürztraminer; with milder curries, have an Alsatian Pinot Gris.
  • See reviews of our favorite Indian specialty foods.

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Artisan Chocolates For Mother’s Day

    Mother’s Day is May 9th, less than three weeks away. It’s the second-biggest chocolate-buying holiday, after Valentine’s Day.

    We make gift giving easy: Send Mom a box of chocolates from one of our Top Pick Of The Week artisan chocolatiers.

    What does it take to get chosen as a Top Pick Of The Week chocolate?

    Quality, consistency and good service. There are wonderful boutique chocolatiers who don’t [yet] have the resources to provide good customer service for online orders—for example, they’re too busy making chocolate and have no one to pick up the phone and answer questions. Our selected chocolatiers were put through their paces via online orders with special instructions (no coconut or no chile, for example), and passed with flying colors.

    Are you ready to discover a wonderful new chocolatier?

  • Barlovento Chocolate (Oakland, California)
  • Chocolats du CaliBressan (Carpinteria, California)
  • Mayana Chocolate (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Nunu Chocolates (Brooklyn, New York)
  •  

    barvolento-open-box-230

    Chocolate “jewels” from Barlovento
    Chocolates. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

    Tomorrow we’ll begin to present non-chocolate gifts for Mother’s Day—and maybe some more chocolate, too!

    Comments

    PRODUCT: “Bacon Is The New Black” Tee Shirt

    bacon-tee

    The shirt says it all (and is a unique gift
    for bacon-loving friends).

     

    Bacon lovers: Here’s your chance to wear your heart on your sleeve (or more precisely, your chest).

    San Francisco chef/butcher Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats creates tee shirts that celebrate his products. “Bacon Is The New Black” is a shirt that will appeal to many people we know.

    The limited-edition tees are printed on American Apparel 100% cotton jersey shirts. They’re available online at 4505meats.com while supplies last, for $25.00.

  • For free, take a look at our Pork Cuts & Pork Products Glossary—nine pages of pork knowledge with absolutely delicious pictures.
  • Check out yummy pork recipes.
  • Comments

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